“Saab is dead” – The headlines

January 22, 2012 in Editorial

Having reviewed this mornings editorial contributions by the many writers in the press, the headline everywhere is “Saab is dead”, which actually, right now, is true. Saab still costs money even though it has died. Anyone who ever said that a bankruptcy was the way to go has now been proven wrong! It was never a solution, Victor Muller knew this all too well, which is why he, together with his management team struggled so hard to save the company until there was nothing more to do.

What ever assets there are in Saab has been pawned which basically means that it has a fixed price on it and the companies which have pawned these were not stupid when they agreed to it, of course they saw that they could make use of these assets if Saab would become bankrupt or even make profit out of these if Saab were to survive. Thinking ahead and gambling is the language of business.

My opinion of the work of the administrators have always been fairly neutral, they are highly educated people, but there were things they could have done better and there are things that they have done very well and having watched the video interviews with them yesterday it is clear that these people have absolutely no training what so ever in being interviewed in front of a camera. They gave a fairly nervous impression but yet they knew exactly what to NOT say. They never said that this is over even though a lot of the newspapers would have liked to hear that (again).

The administrators did exactly what they were supposed to do yesterday, they told the truth! Saab is dead and its continuing to bleed and they have the job of finding someone who can take care of the body and then try to revive it in some way, shape or form. Can this be done?, absolutely, can it be done successfully? absolutely! and the administrators know this!

We might not like the things they have to sacrifice, like the museum for example, but the cars in there will again serve a greater good, helping to create a potential future for Saab.

The fact that Saab has not even had money to buy toilet-paper since march is a fact that not a lot of people knew about. We’ve heard horror story after horror story from Saab employees and suppliers describing how a company has to act when it is completely out of money and saving up on absolutely everything! But despite having to clean the offices, toilets, kitchens and even buy supplies themselves for their own money the employees stayed at their post! They did not leave which is the biggest evidence of how great Saab actually was.

And its these people can again, with their extreme loyalty, expertise, mentality and most of all morale make Saab rise up again!

But the employee-situation is another factor where the administrators are proving that they know exactly what they are doing, they understand the employees, they understand the process the employees are going through, that a lot of people are finding new jobs and are leaving, especially the engineers, but they also know that a lot of them are holding out to see what will become of Saab, at least for a few more weeks! And this is the time frame that the administrators have to find the right buyer who can actually make Saab happen again! And it gives time for the buyer to make final preparations to act quickly but also more important, correctly! This is why they said yesterday that: “- We are in a hurry. But we are not in such a hurry that we can’t evaluate the options we have, and that we believe to have”.

I would urge people to not jump to any conclusions regarding anything for a while now, stay where you are, watch how this thing unfolds and deeply consider what is going on, analyze it from all aspects, not just your own point of view, discuss your opinions here on SU but do not let it go farther than that. There have been many people urging us to create campaigns, posting e-mail addresses etc to influence the administrators, NO, we are absolutely not going to waste their time in any way, because time is THE most important factor for Saab right now. We have one chance people, one chance… and this must work! The administrators know what they are doing, they proved that yesterday!

And what ever solution they come up with, I am confident that it is the best possible solution under the current circumstances!

We as a community have done our part, we proved to the world that we are still here, we have shown potential buyers that Saab is a lot more than engineers and a factory, it is a way of life! Now its time to let the administrators do their job!

61 responses to “Saab is dead” – The headlines

  1. Amen to that!!! Very well written Tim!!

  2. Even how slow SAAB is bleeding, it’s still (a little bit) alive and will come back completly alive.
    Other carbrands: Watch how good SAAB can build cars and see how SAAB will live further from it’s coma when SAAB has got it’s very deserved money.

  3. I would like to read this in some actual newspapers, so everyone could read it.

  4. Roger that! Thank you for your sunday contribution. You’re absolutely right but i think that it is also good that we can ventilate our Saab emotions here on the forum. Let us behave ourselves as grownups. Not hooligans!

  5. We as a community have done our part, we proved to the world that we are still here, we have shown potential buyers that Saab is a lot more than engineers and a factory, it is a way of life! Now its time to let the administrators do their job!

    That’s the punchline / Management summary. And a bloody good one.

  6. Agreed.
    Nice article

  7. Well done Tim. Take the high road.

  8. “SAAB is dead” is a lie. It is well alive!!! SAAB is within all of us and will live on!

  9. Very well written article but I still hope that the museum can be saved in some way. Griffin up everybody!

  10. The analogy by the receiver of “dead but still bleeding” was unnecessary. “Dead” is the wrong word to be using if someone is sincere about trying to give the commpany a new start. I think saying they are “on life support, but the doctors are still in the room” makes a lot more sense. The condition is grave, but not hopeless.

    • Yes, how can the brand be dead if there is still a good chance the company is sold and new Saabs will be rolling off the line later this year?!

      Rachel, how about picking up the Saab Museum ASAP so that the bankruptcy Admins are not forced to make hasty (stupid) decisions regarding the sales process. What’s an other few million euros when the companies history and heritage is at stake? The Museum is vitally important to the new owner IMHO.

      If someone else ends up buying the company YM could take a reasonable commission from the transaction.

  11. Angelov : good observation! :)

  12. Real good story Tim

  13. Net effect: Fire Sale in Lubbock.

  14. If SAAB is revived i will go back, even though i tofu have an other employer.

  15. Keep calm and carry on.. today more than ever.
    I hope this mess will find an happy end….
    SAAB must survive only in the rights hands,to prove what is able to do if well managed,if not it’s better let it rest in peace.
    I will never stand another saga like this one once again….
    Griffin up!!

  16. It is perhaps unnecessary to denote Saab as dead. Possibly, you can say that Saab are difficultly sick and perhaps lies on its deathbed. Only a costly and unapproachable medicine can cautious her.

    • Well LarsG, Saab is dead, there is nothing there anymore… Starting up Saab right now is like starting from scratch. A new company must be formed, new business plan, new (old) employees, new agreements with suppliers etc etc. So in that sense Saab does not exist right now… what exists is what was left behind by the old company.

  17. Tim, thanks for great article. It isn’t true Saab isn’t death. Bad wording I think. Whatever it should happens it will happens. Saab will live with us togheter.
    Positive thinking and Saab Up!

  18. Well time is running out. Something needs to be done!

  19. Yes, first impressions are that the Receivers do seem to be very professional and correct in their approach. There was some comment here that they should have rushed off to China with the delegation that was invited by YM. But, apart from the obvious fact that they are snowed under with work, they can’t be seen to be accepting entertainment from any one bidder in order to avoid being accused of bias. They know that in the end their judgement will be held open to scrutiny, so they must be scrupulously correct in balancing the offers that they receive in order to do the very best for the stakeholders. The expectations of a large and diverse community rests on their shoulders.

    And.. Saab is definitely not dead. She is simply in a deep sleep, awaiting to be awakened by a kiss from a handsome prince.

  20. Coma; life support perhaps, but not dead.

  21. This is a good read.
    BUT I disagree that Saab is currently dead. Saab’s state is more akin to a coma(unconscious), not dead. Saab can still “wake up” & be producing cars again.
    I REFUSE to believe that Saab is dead. Not until all options are exhausted & Saab ends up being sold in pieces(parted out), instead of being sold as a package to be revived by Youngman, Brightwell Holdings or other suitable party who has deep pockets that is committed to producing Saabs in the near & long term future.


  22. Well written.
    But I still hope, that I will buy a new SAAB next year. First rate, elegant, majestic.
    So, SAAB UP !

  23. Very vell written Tim. SAAB ain’t dead yet, I asked my turbo this morning and the answer I got was: NO WAY!! :)

  24. Saab is down but not dead! Saab will be back stronger than before. Wait and see…

  25. …and as far as “what SHOULD be dead”: http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/08/18/more-problems-chevy-volt A really excellent read. Slightly outdated, but right on target. The author hits on all points here relating to the Chevy Volt fiasco. This is good reporting, a strong editorial supported with facts. Particularly chilling if you are a U.S. taxpayer is the part about General Motors stock.

  26. ” “Saab is dead” ”

    NO Just Sleeping, to regain it’s strength….

  27. I guess I missed something because I don’t see these headlines. Saab declared bankruptcy over a month ago – why would people be declaring Saab dead in papers now? Aren’t there very positive things about suiters purchasing the entire company as a whole? Why would such headlines be appearing January 22nd?

  28. Saab is in sleep. When Saab awakens, it will shake the world.

  29. Touchdown!

  30. SAAB is NOT Dead! SAAB is resting up to take over the World, a new SAAB will be in every garage! GM is DEAD, it has NO SOUL!

  31. I would like to say “saab is knocked down in a match temporarily” rather than “saab is dead”.We are just waiting for the fighter standing up again :)

  32. You will never kill Saab spirit-it will come back in time…remember Bugatti and their little gap in production? Look at them now…I think Saab is a similar brand although not as avant garde, You just can’t kill a brand like Saab and expect it to stay dead.

  33. I love Saab as much as the next guy however, has anyone ever thought that it’s too late and YM will place a bid and then have to wait too long for their gov’t to approve it? If they no longer believe in the deal, this is the perfect out for them. They could put up an offer that will never be realized, have their gov’t reject it, save face and be done. Everyone is always talking about time being of the essence, I’m just wondering if this could possibly be a reality. Unless I hear that their gov’t has already been given approval, then I’m not buying. I just heard that Saab of North America has now been liquidated and all employees let go? I’m just wondering if it’s time to get rid of my 10 9-3 before I completely lose my shirt.